Her Majesty's service is now not so secret.
Britain’s Royal Navy said on Thursday that James Bond star Daniel Craig had been made an honorary commander in the service — the same rank held by the fictional secret agent.
In Ian Fleming’s spy thrillers, which spawned the film franchise, Bond is a World War II naval veteran working for Britain’s secret service with a “license to kill.”
Craig was given the honour ahead of the release of “No Time to Die,” his fifth and likely final appearance as 007.
Since the series began in the 1960s, the Bond thrillers have brought welcome — though unofficial and fanciful — publicity to Britain’s military and intelligence services. Britain’s armed forces allowed bases and personnel to be used in making “No Time to Die.”
Other Bond actors have been awarded honorary doctorates, such as Sean Connery's honorary (not easy to say) Doctor of Letters given by St Andrews University in 1988 and Roger Moore's honorary doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire. Both Moore and Connery were honoured by Queen Elizabeth (as was Pierce Brosnan) but Craig is the first to have been given a services honour.
First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin, head of the Royal Navy, said Craig “is well known for being Commander Bond for the last 15 years — a Naval officer who keeps Britain safe through missions across the globe.”
“That’s what the real Royal Navy does every day, using technology and skill the same way as Bond himself,” he said.
Honorary naval officers act as ambassadors for the service.
After 18 months of pandemic delays, “No Time to Die” opens September 30 in Britain and October 8 in the United States.